October 30, 2007

NIH Launches Vulvodynia Awarness Campaign

The National Institutes of Health has launched a campaign to raise awareness of vulvodynia (chronic vulva pain), a little understood and even less discussed aspect of women’s health. According to an NIH press release:

The NIH Office of Research on Women Health (ORWH) hopes by combining forces with partners such as advocacy groups, health care practitioners, research organizations, and federal and non-federal entities, there will be increased awareness and understanding of this important medical condition for women.

While greater awareness of the condition, for which there is no known cause and no definitive treatment, is likely needed among both women and their healthcare providers, the campaign appears to be awareness-only, with no major research funding component. A search of the CRISP database of federally funded research reveals only about 9 distinct awarded grants on the topic in the past ten years.

I also cringed a bit to find the campaign materials introducing vulvodynia as “also referred to as ‘the pain down there’ or ‘feminine pain,’ before providing a real definition of the condition. If we’re going to begin to openly discuss this issue, we’re going to have to move beyond “down there” language.

Some resources on the topic:


2 Responses to “NIH Launches Vulvodynia Awarness Campaign”

  1. catherine A Says:

    Do you think vulvodynia is related to Pudendal Nerve Entrapment? see http://www.tipna.org and http://www.pudendal info.com
    My case history of Pudendal Neuralgia is stated in these two websites. I’m wondering if anyone else has suggested that these conditions could be related. Regards

    Catherine A …..Australia

  2. Katherine Says:

    In my layperson’s opinon ‘yes’ I think vulvodynia is related to PNE. I’ve been out to http://www.tipna.org, and read about pudenal nerve entrapment and neuralgia. I have traveled to see some of the doctors affiliated with the tipna website. I’m still searching, but since that is the main nerve in the groin area it has to have something to do with it.

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